June 22, 2005

Sure He Lies, But...

...What kind of lies? Matthew Yglesias makes the case that Bush is engaged in a particular form of lies in order to appear, well, liberal:

You don't hear Reagan-style ideological anti-statist stuff from Bush very much. There's no "the government is the problem" or "get the government off our backs." His tax cuts are sold explicitly on the (dubious) theory that they don't starve the government of revenue needed to finance the social insurance state. Bush's Social Security rhetoric is designed to deny that he wants to dismantle the program. He takes for granted the idea that there ought to be a federal program to ensure secure retirements for all Americans. The "compassionate conservative" agenda presupposes that a robust federal effort to combat poverty is a good and worthy idea.

Now I and Matt both think that this is lie. Bush is trying to do in Social Security. But it is important to pretend that it is all about "preserving" SS. Except for welfare, which has been dealt with, liberal social programs are very popular. They have to be done in by sneak attack. Thus Bush speaks left and governs right.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Yes, only welfare has not been properly "dealt with." As with so many other right-wing reforms, by attempting to "fix" the problem, they create a whole other set of them, which they then choose not address.

Welfare reform, in the form of "Welfare to Work" programs only create this other set of problems. They train welfare moms to do the low-income jobs no one else wants. The biggest problem with this is that once the moms find a job, they are kicked off of welfare and find themselves in crappy low-wage jobs with no healthcare and no day care or any other benefits. The moms or the kids get sick, and the moms take a few days off, and lose their jobs. And since there are now life-time limits for how long someone can be on welfare, these moms often find themselves losing more than just their jobs, they often lose their homes and then their kids since they are not able to provide adequate care for them. The oh-so-smart government then puts these kids in foster-care and pays about $600 a month for their care, more than twice what the welfare moms receive per kid on a monthly basis. Does this make sense to anyone other than the politicians?

Any S.S. reform will end up the same way, with the government paying out of general funds for the upkeep of the disabled and elderly. The ironic thing, is these are the same people who oppose assisted suicide for elderly and terminally ill, prolonging the amount of time these poor people spend on Medi-Care, Medi-Caide and other social welfare programs.

Forget explaining women, I want someone to explain conservatives to me.